Jbilling: Possible unauthorised use of OSI Certified service mark

Ross Mayfield ross.mayfield at socialtext.com
Sat Dec 30 05:33:16 UTC 2006

You have done a service by pointing out this alleged breach of the OSI
Certified trademark by this corporation.

However, ONLY ONE company that employs a provision similar to the
Generic Attribution Provision has breached this trust.  I believe you
have provided another reason for the GAP to be minded by OSI.

It is inaccurate to say that NOT ONE company has applies for OSI
approval, that is precisely what Socialtext has.  And we clarified
this blog post to say more than we were MPL with an addendum, and have
had the license available our open source wiki since inception.

Deplorable is a strong word in the context of a community, especially
a welcoming one.


On 12/29/06, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> Dear OSI Board members:
> Please see http://www.jbilling.com/?q=node/7&pl=pr
> Note OSI Certified logo.
> The company in question, Sapienter Billing Software Corporation, is yet
> another Web 2.0 company using MPL 1.1 + an "Exhibit B" badgeware
> addendum, calling it "open source".  However, this firm takes one step
> further the stance characteristic of Socialtext, SugarCRM, Alfresco,
> Zimbra, Qlusters, Jitterbit, Scalix, MuleSource, Dimdim, Agnitas AG,
> Openbravo, Emu Software, Terracotta, Cognizo Technologies, ValueCard,
> KnowledgeTree, OpenCountry, and 1BizCom, by using OSI's certification
> mark in outright violation of OSI's licensing terms -- or, at least, I'd
> be surprised to learn otherwise.  Therefore, I'm mentioning that use, in
> case corrective action is needed.
> I'd suggest Sapienter illustrates why "Exhibit B" licences (though
> certainly _not_ badgeware licences generically) have become, in my view,
> a serious problem:
> o  Substantively all (probably literally all 19) of the above-listed firms
>    already have considerable history of claiming in public to be open source.
> o  Few if any mention their licences' lack of OSI approval.  Many
>    imply otherwise; one (Sapienter) outright claims approval (as noted).
> o  Not ONE has applied for OSI approval, though many are demonstrably
>    aware of OSI's approval process.  It's also notable that
>    many of their modified-MPL licences were reportedly written by OSI
>    General Counsel Mark Radcliffe in his private capacity -- so it's
>    doubtful many are unaware.
> o  Several of those firms' officers have already turned a deaf ear
>    (so far) to suggestions on OSI license-discuss that they make their
>    licences comply with OSD#10 ("License Must Be Technology-Neutral" --
>    the main problem) by adding "if any" qualifiers to their licences'
>    requirements concerning "each user interface screen".
> o  At least one, Socialtext, falsely claims in public to use MPL 1.1
>    without mentioning its licence modifications at all.[1]
> Aside from Sapienter's outreach breach of trademark law, some might
> object that OSI simply cannot do anything, to correct this situation.  I
> beg to differ, and ask that OSI take appropriate, measured, and
> constructive action:  Please consider issuing a formal statement
> deploring use of "modified MPL" licenses in circumvention of OSI
> scrutiny, and especially their use without clearly disclosing lack of
> OSI approval.
> No one is denying the value of efforts to close the much-discussed ASP
> Loophole through suitable "attribution" clauses that _do_ respect the
> OSD and substantively allow code reuse, forking, and other underlying
> core notions of open source.  Reasonable people can create licences
> containing such clauses and get them approved.  Unfortunately, the
> above-cited companies are pointedly eschewing any such effort, thereby
> making a mockery of OSI's moral and other authority over open source.
> Please help us of the open source community's desire to help the OSI, by
> issuing a clear statement that we can use to enforce open source
> standards within this troublesome area.  Thank you.
> [1] http://www.socialtext.com/node/88
> Sincerely
> Rick Moen
> (representing himself)

Ross Mayfield
Socialtext, Inc.
ross.mayfield at socialtext.com
t. +1-650-323-0800
f. +1-650-323-0801
company: http://www.socialtext.com
weblog: http://ross.typepad.com
many-to-many: http://www.corante.com/many
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